Honestly Ben comes out in one week! I can’t wait, mostly because after that date, no one can ever again write me an email or tweet me that they hate me for how I ended Openly Straight. Now they can just go and read Honestly Ben and find out what happens next!
For my fans and for those who are just curious, I have compiled this list of 4 surprising things about Honestly Ben. No spoilers, I promise.
But first: Did you know there’s a bridge book, available for free, e-book only, between OPENLY STRAIGHT and HONESTLY BEN? It’s called OPENLY, HONESTLY, and you should, like, totally download it and read it now for your Rafe/Ben fix. It’s basically just a book that chronicles the Christmas/Chanukah break for both characters.
And second: Arizona fans: come to the book launch! Next Tuesday, March 28th, at 7pm, at Changing Hands in Tempe!
Now on with our countdown:
- While writing OPENLY STRAIGHT, I literally went to Google Maps and chose a town where Ben was from in New Hampshire. Alton. I wanted a small town where he could have grown up on a farm, and Alton fit the bill. So when I went to write HONESTLY BEN, I had to travel to Alton so I could have some idea of what this place was where Ben grew up. It was amazing to do the research about where my character was from after the fact. Like I was discovering things about him that I didn’t actually know. I spent a day on a farm there, and I used that farm as the basis for Ben’s home. I also spent time with a town historian, which was really interesting.
- Writing from Ben’s point of view was the hardest challenge I’ve had yet in my fiction career. If you’ve read my books, you know that my characters tend to be, well, emotional. To write a character who doesn’t show his emotions was a real stretch for me, so much so that my editor said, after my first draft, “Bill, is that what you think ‘stoic’ means?”
- Two characters do NOT make a re-appearance from the first book. Bryce and Robinson. I wanted Bryce to come back, but he just … he wasn’t supposed to come back to Natick, I guess, because it didn’t work to bring him back. When I had him show up at the end, it felt like a bad movie sequel, where a character returns so everyone can say, “Oh, look, remember him?” So I nixed it. Robinson just wasn’t as much on Ben’s radar, so other characters show up in his place.
- Toby has a secret. Yes, in this book, Toby has something on his mind and needs someone to talk to, and Albie isn’t his first choice. He searches out Ben. And can you blame him? Ben’s such a solid guy. I won’t tell you what the secret is, but I will say this: it’s a good setup for a third novel in the series!
Stay tuned for more before Ben hits the stores next Tuesday!